Dry July Pod
Welcome back to the alcohol tipping point podcast. I am your host, Deb Masner. I'm a registered nurse health coach and alcohol free bad ass. And today is a special bonus episode. I just decided to record this this morning. It is July 4th, 2022. And it is dry July, and I'm really excited about dry July, just because it's another month that society normalizes not drinking. So.
I wanted to hop on and give you some practical tools and tips for dry July. And if this is your first time doing a dry month, I am so excited. I'm giving you a high five. I fight because it is so worth it. And if this is maybe your fifth month or your hundredth month or whatever, doing a dry month, also huge high five high tens.
All around because you are making a change in your life. That is so worth it. And if you're just taking a break, that's fantastic too. .
And you don't have to have a problem with alcohol to give up drinking. Or take a break from drinking. Alcohol is a poison and it is not good for our health. And we're finding more and more evidence supporting that. So I want to make sure and help you have a successful month.
And so I'm going to be sharing my top tips and tools. So thank you for taking the time to listen. I just wanted to give you a little bit of background on dry July. So dry January is the other month that we often hear about people taking a break and that one started in the UK. And dry July started in Australia. Actually started by three men walking into a bar, like a joke, right? No.
Really that's how it started. There were three. Three mates. And they wanted to take a break from alcohol. So they decided together to abstain for the month of July and they created a fundraiser. And it's become quite a big deal in Australia and it's, it's spread across the nation too, or not the nation, the world.
So, yeah, UK started dry. January Australia started dry July. Come on America. What month are we taking? Let's take back a month. Anyway, I just thought that was an interesting background. Part of the reason people do dry July, like I said, is because of their health. And because maybe you found yourself drinking too much, maybe you are.
Not sleeping. Well, maybe you are just getting tired of the hangovers. Maybe you have gained weight. Maybe you have health problems. I mean, alcohol is linked with so many health conditions, including liver disease, high blood pressure, depression, cancer. You name it alcohol affects every organ of your body. And so giving yourself a chance to reset recalculate is a fantastic way to give yourself a gift.
And for those that are in America and here we are, this is 4th of July and we are celebrating, being free. Right. Freedom. And what better way to celebrate them being alcohol free. I mean, I think that the weight and pressure and bandwidth that alcohol takes up in our lives is huge. We spend so much time thinking about drinking and then drinking and then recovering from drinking. And then just like thinking about what am I going to have that next drink? How much should I drink tonight? Is there enough wine left in that bottle over there? What should I bring tonight?
All of that, all that takes up so much space. And so when you can take that pressure off, when you can free up that bandwidth in your brain, that is huge. I mean, I've often said. Giving up alcohol for me has been like a brain pill, like a super smart pill. Like I just, I have so much more brain space to just think and do other things and have other hobbies and just.
I have a gal in my group. Who did the mental math for us about how much space our call was taking up. And she shared here's what 24 hours looks like. For her when she is drinking nightly and trying to moderate. So most, every night, Three hours of foggy, hungry, and really, really angry at myself. Three hours of irritability and being hungry again, five and a half hours of arguing with herself about not wanting to, or wanting to drink that evening four and a half hours of enjoying the drinking.
Two hours of sleeping in her chair and six hours of terrible sleep in bed. That's a lot of time that it's taking up. So that's like 19 and a half hours of just feeling like crap versus three to six hours. Have a feeling okay. While you're drinking. So, I mean, the math really speaks for itself.
It really is freeing. And so that's, that's why I like to use the term alcohol-free I'll call for you. Bad-ass. That is where that comes from.
And the effects of just taking 30 days, 31 days off of alcohol have been quite amazing.
Just four weeks off the sauce. Um, can lead to. Lower intake of alcohol, the future, your blood sugar stabilizes. Can lead to. Lower intake of alcohol, the future, your blood sugar stabilizes. It can improve your vision. You can save money. Your cholesterol drops you'll have increased clarity, increased focus, better sleep, less anxiety. You're going to save calories. So you may lose some weight, which would be fantastic. Right?
At your blood pressure reduces you reduce your risk of heart problems and risk of stroke, clearer skin, reduce liver, fat, better kidney health. I mean, there's just so many benefits of not drinking. So I want you to think of this month as a gift to yourself, a gift to your body, a gift to be free from alcohol.
And, and then at the end of the month, if you decide you want to continue to drink, go ahead. And if you decide like maybe I need to really cut back by drinking, do that to. All here to support you in what your relationship with alcohol looks like. I just want you to take the time to really give yourself a month away from it and practice, not drinking.
So let's get into those tips and tools to help you out. All right. My number one tip is eat. I am huge on food. I'm maybe a little obsessed with food. Maybe that's just the RN and me hanging out with a lot of RDS,
Seriously, like I'm, I'm serious about treating yourself now is not the time to diet your one focus is just not drinking alcohol. You're going to crave sugar because your body is missing. The dopamine hit of alcohol and that's okay. Eat what you want and enjoy it. And just remember, you're saving a ton of calories, not drinking.
Another tip is to keep busy, especially at night. You know, drinking takes up a lot of time. We just did the math on that. So you're going to have more time and space, which is great. That's an opportunity to do something new. Collin old friend, break out the puzzles in the board games. Pick up a new tick talk dance, just try something new or try something old.
Just do try to keep busy. Especially at night. Another tip is line up your goodies. So we're talking the self care goodies, right? We're talking the bubble bass that Netflix queues, have you watched stranger things yet? Amazing show. Download a meditation app, buy a new book. I'm gonna go through a list of some quit lit books. I recommend.
And just make sure you have some other treats. So besides the food treats, you want to have treats where you're just taking care of yourself. And you're also like replacing this. Alcohol being a coping mechanism for like a busy day at work or stress with the kids or whatnot. Like you need something to replace.
What you're using alcohol for. So that is where the goodies come from. And then also make a reward for completing the month. So at the end of July, maybe have a real vacation or book a massage or buy something that. You have had your eye on, you know, you're going to save a lot of money. So keep track of that.
And that is definitely an added bonus.
Now it would be a good time to try all the new alcohol free beverages out there. Get some of the NAA beer. I really like athletic brewing. They make a great N a option. You can try a mocktail. Really you're just replacing the ritual of drinking. You know, I, I was in such a habit of coming home from work, going to the garage fridge and getting a beer.
And so instead, come home from work, go to the garage fridge. And get an N a beer or get something else because your body is just so on autopilot with the drinking. So take advantage of that. Try something different experiment. Do you have a whole bunch of mocktail recipes, which I will put in the show notes. If you want a little booklet of mocktail recipes.
Let's talk about people and what to do. With the people around you who maybe aren't used to you not being the party animal that you usually are not drinking. What is helpful is to share that you're doing dry July with the people around you. But only as much as it helps you. Just let them know I'm doing dry July. Hey, I'm taking the month off. I'm I'm doing this fundraiser. I'm I'm doing this for my health. I'm just, I'm taking a break. I think people understand that we do all kinds of things that we take the month off. Like.
I don't know, maybe it's like, you're doing a gluten break or you're doing a cleanse or whatever people get that. Sometimes it is hard to be in social situations. So, I mean, don't be surprised if your friends are kind of undermining your efforts to cut down your drinking. They're not necessarily trying to undermine you sometimes it's about them and their own securities with drinking. You know, it can be uncomfortable.
To see someone doing something that. You know, maybe you should do. I think a lot of people know, especially if you're taking a break, like, you know, like, oh, maybe this drinking isn't serving me. Maybe this isn't so good. And so when you are voicing that out loud, it really shines a light on other people's insecurities.
You can plan and rehearse how you'll respond to someone before you put yourself in that social drinking situation. Like I said, you can tell them I'm doing dry July or I'm on medication. I'm given drinking arrest or I'm driving. Just anything that can help in the short-term and just have it ready to go, because you'll find yourself.
All of a sudden in a backyard, barbecue, and someone's handing you a beer and it's like, oh, what do I do? And you're so used to just drinking it, that all of a sudden you got to make a decision. So it's like, no, you got a diet Coke. You got something else. I'm doing dry July. And then you do want to remind yourself of all the reasons you're cutting down or stopping drinking. So why, why are you doing this break?
What are the reasons that you have decided you are doing dry July? Is it because you're having some relationship issues. Are you feeling bad about your body? Are you realizing that you're drinking too much? Are you just feeling shitty? Are you feeling tired? I just got sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I was, I the reward of drinking and having those couple of hours of pleasure at night.
Was not balancing with all the pain that I was feeling the next day with being hung over with being tired, just with feeling like shit, let's face it, feeling like crap, having headaches, having migraines, just feeling foggy, and then repeating that whole cycle again and beating yourself up about it.
So that was a big reason for me to give up drinking. And then I knew when I didn't drink, I knew that I felt better. I knew that I slept better and that I was a better mom and I did better at work, you know? Not that I was like bad, but it just made everything better. It makes everything easier.
And so if you want to push an easy button, remove alcohol from your life. You know, if, if you're concerned about weight, if you're concerned about health sleep, anxiety, depression, relationships, and you want to do something about it. Yeah, you could go to counseling, you could sign up for a gym, you could sign up for a diet program. You could do all of that.
Or you can remove alcohol and just see what a difference that can make in your life. All right back to the peer group and just being part of a group and having that be so difficult in social settings. Think about if there's someone in your group of people, your friends who would be supportive of your decision to do dry July or change your drinking behavior and make them your ally, let them know, let them know ahead of time. Just have a buddy, have someone you can talk to and just let them know.
And maybe they want to do it with you, which is fantastic. And then if you're in a drinking situation and people are buying rounds, just stay out of these or buy others, alcoholic drinks, buy them a drink when it's your turn, but ask them to buy you a non-alcoholic drink. And maybe if you're at a bar setting,
A lot of the times they'll give you free drinks that have no alcohol. So do that. And then remember you can leave. You can leave. You don't have to be there. I'm a big fan of the Irish exit. I don't know if that's the correct terminology, but I sometimes. And known. Actually did this a lot when I was drinking, but where I would just leave the situation, I would leave a party and not tell anybody.
And I don't know, there was something about it that was kind of empowering and kind of
I don't know why he did it, but I just kind of thrived on just leaving. Totally leaving. You don't have to be there. So that's known as an Irish exit.
And finally in these social settings situations, just practice say no, like this is a great life hack for all areas of your life, but especially if you're in a social setting and someone offers you a drink. I remember you're a grown ass adult. You get to make your own decisions. You don't. Oh. Anyone an explanation.
I realized sometimes this is easier said than done. You know, sometimes there are some real drink pushers in your life and maybe you were one, like, I was totally a drink pusher. But this is your life. You get to set your rules and you can say no. At two little letters, one word. Oh, So I always encourage people like pull up your big girl or boy pants and practice ways to say no. When someone asks, if you want a drink. And so some things you can say are.
Nope. Nope. Nah. No. Thank you. NAC Ghana. Remember the church lady from Saturday night, live Nat Kenna DOL.
You can say I'm on a cleanse kinda sorta true. I'm driving. I'm too busy to be hung over tomorrow. I'm good with what I'm drinking. Make sure you have a non alcohol drink in hand. You can say, yes, I'd love a diet Coke or water Virgin. Hito you can say not today. Satan again, church lady, maybe don't call them Satan. Just say not today, because for today that's true. Right in that moment. It's true. I'm not drinking.
Not drinking tonight. That's all. That's all you need to do.
I said I'd recommend some quit lit. So some of my favorite books are of course, this naked mind by Annie grace that just. Is a paradigm shifting book that really talks about the effects of alcohol and our beliefs around alcohol. You know, thinking that we need alcohol to socialize or to reduce anxiety or to sleep better. It really examines those beliefs and shows you the truth. I mean, you don't need alcohol to socialize.
You spent much of your high-yield life. Without alcohol and you're socialized and had fun. Just fine. You know, and it may seem like it. And we've gotten so used to having it as a social lubricant. So just really taking this month to practice socializing without alcohol. So that is a great book. Another one I really love this is a good one for dry July is the accidental, sober Easter.
And that is by an Irish writer, Kate Gunn. And that is about her dry month that actually turned into just being alcohol free for. The rest of her life because she just enjoyed her life so much better without alcohol. Wonderful book. I just got done reading in our little book club. We are the luckiest by Laura. McKowen.
And that's another fantastic quit lit book. It's, it's kind of heavy. But it's so well-written very thoughtful. I also love tired of thinking about drinking by bell Robertson. Another fantastic book. She just really breaks it down for you. And she has some great analogies. She's also been on the podcast as has Kate Gunn who.
Brought the accidental. So barista. And then there's quit like a woman by Holly Whitaker, the sober diaries by Claire Pooley. Just that's another wonderful, like kind of the surprising joy of being alcohol-free right. That is a great book to read. You can listen to podcasts like this one. Some of the podcasts that I really like especially if you're just thinking about quitting drinking, you're not quite there yet.
Take a break is one it's it's hosted by Rachel Hart and she really breaks down our thoughts about drinking and desires around drinking. So that's a great one. There's the hello Sunday podcast hosted by Casey Davidson. She does a great job, has a variety of episodes on different topics and just practical tools and advice.
We were on each other's podcasts too. So that was great. Sober powered is a science-based one with Jill teats. And she also, if we were on podcasts, so I'd like to recommend these people that I know, but also just because they're so good. It's good stuff. But so over powered are quick episodes, usually like 15 minutes and just really breaking down the science behind alcohol and how it works in your body. So those are great ones.
Finally, I just want to remind you just simply practice, not drinking. You don't have to be perfect. You know, when you set out to learn a new language, you don't expect to learn it. After one day of studying the language,
So give yourself grace. Definitely give yourself grace. And I just want to leave this episode with a reading new something that I actually got an, a marketing email of all things. But it was just so special. So I will read that to you. Here it goes. I just want you to know you were created on purpose and for purpose, you are beautiful, both inside and out.
You are a powerful and important. You are lovable and you are loved. You are unique and special. You are more than enough. You are smart, creative, and have a lot to offer this world. And no matter what you do in your life, you are never alone. You are never forgotten. You're never too far gone. The world needs you.
And does a better place because of you. I am so grateful to all of you for listening to the alcohol tipping point. I am so. Happy that you are really thinking about your relationship with alcohol and changing it. That is so brave. That is so cool. I love it. I love you. I want to thank you again. If you have any questions, please reach out to me. You can email me [email protected]
And then I'm also going to put all my free resources in the show notes. So.
There is a dry guide. There is a 10 day email challenge. There is the mocktail recipes. There are 100 questions to change your drinking. Can't remember what else? Because I have a lot of free stuff. So please get support. Email me have fun this month. Make this month about joy and freedom.
Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day.